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greenshade

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 141 total)
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  • #431662
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for your response!
    I took some time to process it and am now revisiting it since I have a longer break from work this week.

    I am rereading this thread – I guess I am now in a place of being used to the idea that I will have to leave.

    There is an underlying conflict I am experiencing – In the past couple of months, I have had the opportunity to do some of the things that I was dreading – engaging with different stakeholders, supervising a team- and while it has been busy, it has also been not going horribly, which is giving me a boost in confidence. My mentor says I stay too much in my comfort zone – that I don’t push out of it enough and it limits my potential to achieve because I am afraid of failure. This is true, but I am even more afraid of success- because I don’t want to be seen, or to receive attacks, or to feel I am bogged down by responsibility.

    On the other hand- I have a core drive to be of service, to be embedded in community and to be a part of something bigger than myself. When I imagine a future travelling around, while it sounds fun for a short while it also sounds like I would get cynical and tired after a while of just chasing my own pleasure.

    I guess my ideal situation would allow me to be of service without putting restraints on me in terms of presence or time, but I don’t know whether that is possible, because it being so far outside the norm for the development sector that I stand alone as a bit of an eccentric character who is campaigning for better work life balance in a situation which is so resource limited that competition and exploitation are both very high and normalised, so a work life balance is not a priority or even an entertainable concept for anyone outside of myself (everyone around me has hustle mentality). From what I know of public service/social workers by talking to friends and family who do this type of work in the UK /new zealand/US/canada this seems to be a pretty universal experience.

    I have some ideas for what I want to explore as ways of finding this balance, and I guess a part of me does also believe it is possible to find.

    I guess for now I am curious about how you and others might approach giving back/service, and balancing that with personal joy.

    With warmth,
    M

     

    #427861
    greenshade
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thanks for your response! I think for sure partly guilt. I have left them alone before, but they were physically stronger than. My dad is now bed bound and my mum is also struggling with her health. BUT I think also – for many years now, I have tried to keep my alignment with my needs as the compass (leaving for masters to a different country, leaving jobs that were toxic, moving out of my parents, living alone for my mental health needs, even though having a roommate would make things financially easier, prioritizing people who fill my cup emotionally). But something I realised was, even though my mum, for eg. does not fill my emotional cup in one way, she takes care of me in her own way and I have started being able to receive and value that. When things were rough this last year – I didnt feel able to go to anyone but her, all of my friends had their own lives and priorities and feel like the “other”, while parents and family feel like “belonging”. My ex who i loved very much was also able to walk away without looking back, and there is something that feels deeply wrong about being able to leave so easily. I think im very strongly also feeling the need for continuity with the people in my life – resolving conflict over time again and again, setting boundaries again and again, maintaining relationships, knowing that the people I have in my life today will also be there tmw unless something really big happens (like a death or something). I am tired of letting people go and people letting me go. And I fear moving will mean a lot of people letting me go. I have invested a lot into trying to build my happiness here these last 5 years, and letting that investment go. Letting go of the identity of someone who wants to do something big for my country. It just feels like so much more loss over loss that I have already experienced in these last few years (loss of a very close aunt through death, loss of 3 other close family elders through death, loss of a very trusted mentor for reasons unknown to me, the loss of watching my parents health deteriorate, the loss of my ex, the loss of the dreams and life I thought I would have by this age, the loss of watching my parents age)- there is so much grief I don’t know how to handle it and familiarity feels like the only thing that brings comfort right now. Loss feels like a shock to my system right now and I feel very small as I write this, and very much needing comfort and maybe even something or someone to anchor onto externally.

    This is turning into a diary style journal entry lol so thank you for reading this as I am sure you will <3. I greatly appreciate your dependability Anita , it is a very rare thing. There is a lot to process and unpack because so much has happened in the last few years and I can still feel a lot internally that needs to be expressed in this way but I feel the need to stop for now. Thank you for reading again and take care.

    M

    #427845
    greenshade
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I hope you are well.

    I don’t know. I know I should. I think about making time to do it. But I don’t, even when I have the time, even when I’m thinking I should do it all the time, my muscles don’t seem to listen. So I don’t know. Its something I feel v helpless around.

    Best,

    M

    #425965
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for your response. Let me reflect on this and write back.

    Best,

    M

    #425953
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks so much for the kind words !

    I’m from a big city in Pakistan and with the conflict between the two countries its the hardest place for me to able to move to because of visa restrictions. Which is unfortunate because you are right, with the cultural similarity I would still have the work advantages I do here. And I have family there I would love to meet, plus being able to visit my grandparent’s hometowns.

    I think about moving to South America sometimes, or Spain/Italy because I like warm and vibrant places, and I would love to explore the arts and cultures there. Maybe at a different point in my life I will do it, when the pressure to succeed is less :).

    With warmth,
    Maria

    #425925
    greenshade
    Participant
    Dear Roberta,
    Thanks so much for your response and your understanding.
    I am sorry that you have also felt this sadness. Life is hard and the couple of years I had a person to share it with made everything so much lighter and easier, playful, that it took away a lot of the difficulty.
    If I may ask, are there any teachings in particular that you found supportive?
    I try to be mindful and stay present with myself, pain and all, but the idea of life without a partner feels bleak. I have been trying to find joy and connection in smaller moments with whoever is around me, rather than depending on a close friend or partner, but it does not feel enough yet.
    Thank you for reading <3
    With warmth,
    M
    #425924
    greenshade
    Participant
    Dear Anita,
    It is good to see you again at the forums! I hope you have been well over the past couple of years!
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and validating response.
    Yes, it is when things are the hardest that I miss him the most. I guess these are difficult weeks, and that is why I don’t feel like connecting with new people. It is a shame because it is rare for me to meet people I vibe with. I met a man through work and we had mutual interest, but I am not feeling okay right now to follow up on it.
    I moved out of my parents house in 2020. I guess I am still not able to live the full home life I wanted because:
    1. For me, safety in dating comes in living with a partner and seeing their behavior up close before committing. This is almost unheard of in my country, and I am scared of having men over, because it is not uncommon for women to lose housing over these things. Casually dating in public is also not so openly done, and that makes it harder for those little moments of connection to happen that lead for me to have feelings for someone. I feel I am ready for a serious partnership (outside of these past few weeks) but feel unable to act on this readiness.
    2. I don’t manage to save enough to host people as I would like.
    3. I find housekeeping overwhelming because I have trauma around it. This also makes having people over harder, and also makes it harder to set up my home space as I would like.
    4. I love dancing and playing in public spaces, just hanging out in a park, or walking to the grocery store but these are not very safe things for women to do alone in my country. I do them much much less frequently than I would like.
    5. Work is the one area that feels very fulfilling, because I feel what I do here in my country makes exponentially the amount of difference it would if I did it in a western context. It is what is keeping me here. My setting, and my being fully grounded in this setting, helps my work be unique and be competitive even at a global level. It also makes me feel like I am helping to build a society more aligned with one I would want to live in. I fear losing this edge and fulfilment/ excitement if I do move abroad again. With my family, my father has a caregiver now who has taken over much of his care, and my mum has family she could move in with, so my family would be cared for if I do move abroad.
    I guess for me the big question in building a healthy happy life now for myself is that I don’t see how to be able to follow both my work and my home life goals at the same time. I think part of the reason I struggle to move on is also this, that I don’t feel safe doing the things that would allow me to develop that sense of trust and warmth with a new potential partner, so my ex remains the person I associate these things with.
    Thank you again for listening!
    With warmth,
    M
    #400928
    greenshade
    Participant

    Dear @anita and @helcat thank you for your replies and support in this thread!

    Best,

    M

    #400299
    greenshade
    Participant

    Dear @Helcat,

    It has been pleasure for me as well!

    I am glad you are in a healthier environment! it sounds like it must have been a relief.

    Thank you for the validation and the vote of confidence! Yes, I think it can be easy to forget that better exists when you are in a place that’s less than great. I can try to find it.

    The previous role was three days a week and I had two days where I was working at a start up. I still got to do my passion projects via the start up so I was happy enough. The stress on the three days was high but the two days in the middle where i could just ignore all calls, emails and pressure from this workplace were great and that break was enough to keep me functional, even though it pissed off my supervisor and his secretary, I felt I was in the right so I could stick to it. It felt easier to boundary set because I had a documented outside commitment to the second work place.

    Best,

    M

    #400297
    greenshade
    Participant

    Dear @anita,

    Thanks for your response! Even though we are on different pages about the visiting father thing, and I am perhaps using a different tool set to try to understand the situation (the myers briggs personality types – its outdated science but I still find it personally helpful. I type as INFP.) I appreciate your perspective and did take out time to consider whether it was still visiting my father that was impacting my feelings.

    I hear you on the managing anxiety around freelancing!

    Best,

    M

     

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by greenshade.
    #400220
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hi @Helcat Thanks for your reply!

    That is a very noble goal! Potentially, one of the few reasons to stay. If you left the role, would someone else take over and likely achieve that goal? Perhaps you can still help people outside of this role?

    Awh, thanks! No, it has been more like my personal agenda than an organizational priority. I think I could still collaborate with my future colleagues in the future though to work on this if I were to leave things on a  good enough note.

    I can empathise with how you feel about HU1. In my old workplace management criticised people behind their back. It made me feel anxious and distrustful.

    Yes, it left a bad taste in my mouth, specially from someone in such a powerful position – still acting like a 5th grader.

    I think there are a lot of managers like HU2.It sounds like a combination of personal habits and the nature of the role. It sucks when it feels like management doesn’t value your ideas. But this doesn’t mean that they aren’t good ideas. There are likely a variety of factors in play.

    What I liked to do when being given lots of responsibilities is ask which is the highest priority and communicate expected time frames for each item. If HU2 gets upset when you are doing that, it is not your fault. As you said, it would be a lack of organisation on their part.

    Yes, I do communicate this stuff. They still get angry. Yes, thank you for the reminder !

    1. I can understand why this is upsetting. It sounds like they don’t value the time of their employees.

    2. I can understand since you explained HU2s nature. I am imagining somewhat stern and fatherly why the tone might sound different from other people who might genuinely hope to see you there. It would sound to me like someone wagging their finger sternly. “I want you to go to this.” It would have been more polite if he asked you “Would you be able to attend the event?” or “Would you like to attend?”.

    3. It is understandable why you weren’t there. Was your supervisor present at the meeting? Did you give notice to the meeting host that you wouldn’t be able to attend? My husband likes to message and let people know when he doesn’t attend meetings. The micromanaging seems a bit much. Personally, I don’t enjoy that management style.

    4. I think this links in with the theme of this company. They expect a lot of you. They expect you to sacrifice and they don’t seem to respect your time. It doesn’t sound like they have been receptive in the past when you communicated difficulties with a high workload. You are somehow expected to manage everything perfectly all of the time. When the reality is that we are all human, we all get tired and occasionally make mistakes.

    I wish you luck with your freelancing! Or in your current role. Whichever you decide, I am sure that you will be successful. You strike me as a professional that cares about their work.

    Thank you ! I appreciate the validation and the vote of confidence <3 !

    #400219
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hi @anita,
    Thanks for your response.

    ” “I’m not sure I want to change that about myself” – it is difficult enough to change something significant about yourself when you really want to change it, no way to change it if you don’t really want to change it.

    The other part feels like maybe this is who I am, it’s my personality, even if I didn’t have trauma” – seems to me that we use the word personality for what we don’t want to change about ourselves, or for what we wish we could change but we don’t believe we can.

    Why am I compelling myself to fit into a box I don’t fit into?” – no matter what employment you do, even freelancing, you’ll still have to fit into some kind of a box, as there will be rules and regulations to follow and difficult people to interact with”

    I do like my discomfort with hierarchies – I feel they create unhealthy exchanges of power, and cause unquestioning deference to people in power simply because they are in power; and that leads to bad decision making and inefficiency; and also creates opportunities for abuse of power. I see this happen at my work place all of the time. I even participate in it sometimes, because it gets exhausting to be continuously pushing back against a culture I don’t like. I have to believe that its possible to build a work life for myself where I can choose who to work with and when, as equals. I feel those are pretty basic boundaries that I don’t want to compromise on so changing my dislike for hierarchies would feel like changing myself in an abusive way, where I disregard my boundaries. I know I did say that I don’t know if one can survive without adapting to this environment, but in retrospect I think the energy of this statement was a little stockholm syndromy and maybe not reality as I am seeing it when calmer.

    When I say compelling myself to fit into a box, I don’t mean that I am looking for an absence of rules or difficult people, but that I am looking for a place where I am not constantly going against my nature. Freelancing, and its build-your-own-path nature appeal to me more because it seems I would have more choice in how to structure my life . I can’t know without trying it however and I guess the uncertainty is scary.

    Yes, I know I project and get triggered, and that is more about me than the situation I am in, but the painful feelings that come up feel pretty real” – I am sure that the painful feelings that come up in the context of the workplace feel real. The thought: I am projecting, does not prevent the feelings. It takes much more than a thought to change or soften painful feelings.

    That makes sense. What would you recommend?

    “I imagine that you regularly visit your father and that every time you visit him, you don’t feel much of anything because you are in the decades-old habit of numbing the feelings of being TRAPPED in his MANIC BOX. The feelings that are numbed in his presence wake up in the workplace context and you feel trapped.”

    I agree that I feel trapped when I get triggered, and that I get triggered at work, but I don’t think that has to do with visiting my dad. I am comfortable with the amount I visit my dad, its on my terms, and I feel wholesome and healthy afterwards and I can leave whenever I want. It feels like a much healthier relationship on both ends – his mental health is well enough right now that he is able to really present and I find myself able to receive support and love from him. I enjoy my conversations with him and am getting to experience him as the person, not the person in active mania, which is something I have wanted my whole life. I also know that if/when his mental health deteriorates again, I am not emotionally dependent on his support and will be able to back off.

    My interpretation is that I feel trapped when I am in an environment where it feels difficult to communicate because the culture of the place doesn’t support open communication. While I am getting better at stating my boundaries, its still a work in progress and this place requires constant boundary setting to even have enough time blocked out to meet my own deliverables. And the boundary setting is more exhausting than I have experienced within start ups. I am more comfortable working in those because less formal cultures in my opinion allow for more real talk and are built to allow for more flexible work schedules.

    There is an ongoing dynamic: the numbing of the trapped feelings; the waking up of the trapped feelings.

    I am reading your most recent post: “I feel excited and relieved at the thought of leaving” leaving a box in which you feel trapped is exciting!

    Yes! Cant wait till I am out!

    One of the two higher ups… emailed half an hour before closing time and assigned a task and said that it had to be done that night. I got so triggered” – the numbed feelings of being trapped woke up!

    This week, I was in a group meeting and felt pressured to take on work that I knew would be difficult to complete on time. I could have said no but froze in the moment and felt triggered afterwards” – you could have said No, but the feelings of being trapped woke up and froze your No.

    You asked me in the post addressed to me, “How does one decide where the line is for themselves after which they will not put up with triggering behavior, whether the behavior itself is problematic or not?” – look at the quote right above: you could have said No. It was an option available to you. This means that in that circumstance, you were not really trapped in a box because you had an out (saying No). If you are unable to say No, you will feel trapped anywhere and everywhere, won’t you?

    I have worked in 4 organizations, I felt trapped in two, did not feel trapped in the other two. While I was working in the two I did not feel trapped in,  I was also living with my parents, so I think this does have to do with the nature and type of the workplace rather than the fact that I’m still in contact with my father.

    With this sentence, I think what I was trying to say is I am afraid I might be staying too long in challenging situations because I invalidate myself and my triggers by saying “oh these are just triggers; this is my ish to work on, its not really a bad situation”

    Best,

    M

    #399962
    greenshade
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply Helcat!

    That is validating to hear.

    I feel excited and relieved at the thought of leaving, mixed with doubt as to whether I would be doing the right thing. This position may (if I can stick it out for 5-10 years and manage to figure out how to succeed here) help me meet a work goal that I have been working towards for the last 4-5 years. The goal would have a lot of impact and help people in situations similar to me so I feel bad about abandoning this goal. I am interested in freelancing now, and starting my own set up rather than looking for full time work as historically I have struggled with it.

    The triggers this week were:

    1) one of the two higher ups (higher up 1/HU1) emailed half an hour before closing time and assigned a task, and said that it had to be done that night. I got so triggered I turned my phone off for the night, even though later after calming down I realized it hadnt even been assigned to me, I was just assuming I would have to do it.

    2) there is a work event tomorrow in the evening. It is the fourth evening work event this week, 1 more was announced today. I have no active role in the event. I was interested and thinking about going, but the other higher up (higher up 2/HU2) emailed and said “I hope you are going to this” and this made me lose interest in the event and not want to go.

    3) Last week, we had federal leaves due to Eid holidays. Half of our team is based elsewhere and were working. I didnt attend a regular meeting (again this is not a meeting where a lot of work gets done, I usually just sit and listen to others updates) because it was my federal holiday and my supervisor emailed  HU2 saying i wasnt present. I had to justify to both my supervisor and HU2 why I couldnt be there in two different meetings and over email.

    4) This week, I was in a group meeting and felt pressured to take on work that I knew would be difficult to complete on time. I could have said no, but froze in the moment and felt triggered afterwards.

    HU1- Has yelled at me once, but is usually nice to me. I see her yelling at her juniors however, which makes me not trust her. Once, in a meeting, I heard her say in a sarcastic/complaining tone about her secretary who has been with the organization for 20 years ” Now he cant do the work because he’s gone and had a heart attack” (dont know if she reminds me of anyone other than a teacher I had for a bit)

    HU2- says he is a good listener and genuinely tries, but is still pretty autocratic and dictates rather than has conversations. Dismisses ideas or work he doesnt agree with as invaluable, which is a lot of my work since we have different approaches to the problems in our field. Is disorganized (will ask you to set aside older priorities and focus on new things, and then you complete the new things says “yes but what about the old thing”, will forget that he assigned you stuff, keeps looping into things that arent my responsibility. reminds me of both my father (nothing is good enough) and my uncle (v intelligent and insensitive but tyring in clumsy ways, imposes their world view on others)

    I know this is a lot but was a relief to put it down lol. Thank you to whoever takes the time to read it <3.

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by greenshade.
    #399961
    greenshade
    Participant

    I’m not sure I want to change THAT about myself, its more like a part of me feels like I will need to change this about myself in order to survive, the other part feels like maybe this is who I am, its my personality, even if I didnt have trauma I may not have liked working in very heirarchal large organizations so why am I compelling myself to fit into a box I dont fit into? I bounce between these two states a lot.

    Sorry just a clarrifying post lol. The “that” in bold and capital refers to :Your last sentence in your most recent post is: “I usually prefer working in smaller less formal set ups with people with similar value sets, but I am feeling internal pressure to change that about myself

    #399958
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your effort in reading through the past messages. It helps to have this information here for perspective and the analysis resonates, and yes this website and especially your responses did play a large part in helping me get the momentum to move out so for that I am very grateful.

    “Your last sentence in your most recent post is: “I usually prefer working in smaller less formal set ups with people with similar value sets, but I am feeling internal pressure to change that about myself” – it makes sense that a more relaxed workplace is a better fit for you (and for anyone who suffers from excessive anxiety). If you want to change that about yourself, that is, to endure a higher stress level in regard to employment because of significant professional/ financial benefits in doing so, you will need to create a separation from your childhood experience with your father, so that this past experience does not encroach on your present experience. Did you ever discuss this topic in therapy?”

    With my therapist we do discuss when I am projecting my father onto other situations, and people and it is good insight. However, in the practical scheme of things, it hasn’t helped because even if I know I am projecting it still becomes impossible for me to see the situation or person in a positive light or want to engage with them again. I’m not sure I want to change that about myself, its more like a part of me feels like I will need to change this about myself in order to survive, the other part feels like maybe this is who I am, its my personality, even if I didnt have trauma I may not have liked working in very heirarchal large organizations so why am I compelling myself to fit into a box I dont fit into? I bounce between these two states a lot.

    I also struggle with – yes, I know I project and get triggered, and that is more about me than the situation I am in, but the painful feelings that come up feel pretty real, and it feels unfair to myself to stay in these situations that feel bad because I might be projecting. How does one decide where the line is for themselves after which they will not put up with triggering behavior, whether the behavior itself is problematic or not?

    Best,

    M

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by greenshade.
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